Boost logo

Boost :

Subject: Re: [boost] [general] What will string handling in C++ look like in the future [was Always treat ... ]
From: Alexander Lamaison (awl03_at_[hidden])
Date: 2011-01-21 08:35:55

> On Fri, 21 Jan 2011 10:54:15 +0100, Matus Chochlik wrote:
> > On Fri, Jan 21, 2011 at 10:37 AM, Alexander Lamaison <awl03_at_[hidden]> wrote:
> > On Thu, 20 Jan 2011 23:26:35 -0800, Patrick Horgan wrote:
> >
> >> On 01/20/2011 07:43 AM, Alexander Lamaison wrote:
> >>>
> >>> I imagine you wouldn't have UTF-16 and UTF-32 string being passed about as
> >>> a matter for course.  For instance, a UTF-16 string should only be used
> >>> just before calling a Windows API call.
> >>>
> >>> If this is the case, it makes sense to make the common case (UTF-8 string)
> >>> have a nice name like boost::string and the others which are used for
> >>> special situations can have something less snappy like boost::u16string and
> >>> boost::u32string.
> >> What would you use for a regular string where you just had, essentially
> >> a vector of char, wchar_t, char8_t, char16_t, char32_t, or unsigned
> >> char, but didn't care about encoding?  I want to differentiate between
> >> this case and the case where I know that there's a particular encoding.
> >> A lot of times you just know you got a string from one system call and
> >> you're passing it to another and you don't care about encoding.
> > [..]
> >
> > Good point! boost::u8string then?
> Why not boost::string (explicitly stating in the docs that it is UTF-8-based) ?
> the name u8string suggests to me that it is meant for some special case
> of character encoding and the (encoding agnostic/native) std::string
> is still the way
> to go.

That was the idea, was it not? We should be encoding agnostic wherever

> IMO we should send the message that UTF-8 is
> "normal"/"(semi-)standard"/"de-facto-standard"
> and the other encodings like the native_t (or even ansi_t,
> ibm_cp_xyz_t, string16_t,
> string32_t, ...) are the special cases and they should be treated as such.

Why? When a string doesn't need to be converted, why force it to be?


Easy SFTP for Windows Explorer (

Boost list run by bdawes at, gregod at, cpdaniel at, john at